Achieving the Community-Authored Plan

A community plan written by the citizens is a notion that resonates with the core of what many believe local planning is all about. The vast majority of planning processes involve some level of community outreach in the form of seeking input on the important issues, visioning, and reviewing recommendations prior to adoption and implementation. But what about the task of actually writing the plan? 

This session explores case studies where citizens were invited to actively participate in the drafting of plan recommendations. It highlights important considerations when designing such a process, including management of meeting logistics to ensure optimal outcomes; types of information to be developed; and expertise within the community that can provide appropriate insight. It also describes how planning professionals used the resulting material as the foundation for plans, and identifies pitfalls that can compromise the value of such outreach, potentially leading to frustration or distrust.

You’ll learn about:

  • How to identify if and how residents can be brought into this step of the process
  • How this specific type of engagement fits into a larger public outreach program
  • Key considerations related to the design of this approach to ensure resulting materials are easily integrated into final product
  • Facilitating the process; ensuring the plan is technically sound and locally appropriate